Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA TODAY
Published 5:41 p.m. ET Sept. 22, 2020 | Updated 5:52 p.m. ET Sept. 22, 2020
SportsPulse: Week 2 was filled with fantastic finishes, demoralizing injuries and drama. We put a bow on the week and reveal our latest power rankings with our biggest risers and fallers.
Add Jon Gruden and Sean Payton to the list of coaches who had to pay up for not wearing masks during their teams’ Week 2 contests.
The coaches for the Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints were each fined $100,000 by the NFL for violating the league’s jointly established protocol in light of the coronavirus pandemic, a person familiar with the decision told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose details of the punishment.
The Raiders and Saints also were docked $250,000, the person said.
Three other coaches and teams were issued the same penalties on Monday: the Seattle Seahawks’ Pete Carroll, the San Francisco 49ers’ Kyle Shanahan and the Denver Broncos’ Vic Fangio.
Gruden was shown wearing his mask on his chin during the Raiders’ 34-24 win over the Saints, while Payton had a gaiter that did not rise above his neck.
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Gruden said after the game that he “had the virus” but would accept whatever punishment the league issued.
“I’m doing my best. … I’m very sensitive about it. I’m calling the plays,” Gruden said. “I apologize. If I get fined, I will have to pay the fine.”
Last Monday, NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent warned all 32 teams that any coaches or sideline personnel found to be in violation of the league’s mask requirements would subject themselves and their organizations to discipline. The memo was sent after several coaches did not wear masks in their teams’ season openers.
Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.